The Final Settlement
A man from a village,
Met me after so many years.
I could recognize him as my childhood friend Pratibimb.
We together were very happy to see each other.
We decided to spend a whole day together,
At a place that was free from the hustle-bustle of the city.
So, we went to a hilltop near the city.
After settling there on a hill rock
I asked him what are you doing?
Where are you nowadays?
Where are you settled?
As soon as he listened the word settle
he became a little nostalgic.
After some time he told me
Oh, settlement! I will tell you my journey,
and then he started.
I am a child from a very small village of this nation
After education, I moved to the city to earn my living
There I got a lot to learn and little to earn
Here in this city one day I am met, my cousin
He asked me, brother, what are doing?
When are you getting settled?
I told him since the last three years I working in this city
Changed my jobs three times
because of reasons beyond my control
I never complained about those but I wanted to get settled.
I am trying, but it is not happening
In spite of all this, I am happy
Because I have learned so many things
in a short time in this strange city.
My cousin told me learning is fine
But where is the earning?
See me. I am almost the same age as you.
I am having a good job, making good money
Recently got married and taking care of my small family
I have settled before you.
I said I am not against settlement
But that is not my control.
Although I am more qualified educationally than you
but you are more qualified than me
to give the answer to the question of settlement.
He told me that I should keep
my learning side by side and focus on earning.
Look Opportunity to earn, learning will happen there
and even if doesn’t happen that is fine
Because, how long we will keep learning we are getting older?
Getting settled is more important in life.
I was puzzled over this conversation
I was seeking the answer to my settlement
I tried hard for two more years,
but more than newer experiences of life I didn’t get much.
Whenever I got a new job
I got a new domain to learn
I will pay money from my pocket
and after job hours in the evening burn my nights,
register for courses, diplomas & certificates
and learn that domain and get certified.
This way journey kept going on.
After two years I moved far away, from that city
There was a new environment so more learning
Thus new jobs, new places and
working with new people was my way.
Then came the time when my father asked
Are you settled, the reason was obvious.
I told, I want to settle but I am not able to settle
He asked me, how long it will take to settle?
I had that standard reply
It is not in my hand,
But I am happy I am learning.
My father told me all your friends and cousins
got settled but you are accumulating
education, knowledge, degree, experience.
What is the use? Get settled my son.
All can happen parallel.
Learning doesn’t stop in life, even if you get settled.
I was like a wandering monk
Kept moving alone, from one job to another,
From one city to another
Only with my wisdom
But always happy
Some get settled with a place
Some get settled with money
Some get settled with relations
I was settling in myself.
The question of settlement is thrown to me
Whenever friends, colleagues, relatives are around
Where are you settled?
Probably by this time they assumed that I am settled
That is why the question is “Where”
Today on this beautiful hill
Can I ask you a question?
I said, well you are my childhood friend
We are very close to each other
You can ask me anything
I will give my best reply if not true
I quizzed him.
He smiled and told
Can you please tell me,
The meaning of settlement?
I was happy that I finally
he is asking this question to a wise person like me.
I got the opportunity to give wisdom to my best friend.
So, I started speaking to him
Without stopping, I continued for fifteen minutes
But more I was speaking
more emptiness I was experiencing in me
Finally, I told, I have spoken a lot
This is what I know and I meant by the settlement
But I am also not happy with this answer.
He told me, if you, who is settled,
do not know the answer,
Then how come who is rolling like a ball on this planet will know?
Yes the desire to settle was there in me
But now that desire itself has settled.
Oh, I said, how come your desire of settling
got settled before you settle in your life?
My friend told me
For me, life is a journey
This life is just a station in that larger journey
For me, neither life started at my birth
Nor it will end at my final departure from the body
I will continue in some other form at some other place
So, tell me a place where I should build
a palace for my permanent settlement?
Many times I have built big palaces earlier
and I got kicked out by the time
This time I am thinking of not building any.
Everything is taken on rent here
Never try to buy anything
Take everything on rent,
Use it with respect and then give that back to the owner
Thank giver for giving me the opportunity to use
I am no more than a custodian
of those things with which I enjoy life
Once done then leave surroundings and objects
around in good condition and move on.
So that others after me can enjoy this planet.
I took my mother womb on rent
so that I can manifest in physical form.
My mother helped me,
I came out from that settlement and thanked her
Then my father gave me his house to live and study
I studied and came out and thanked him
Several people have given me their houses in the cities to live
I lived in their houses and moved out and thanked them
Several employers gave me the opportunity to learn and earn
I worked, earned, and learned. I thanked them and moved out
In fact this body, I have taken on rent from this mother earth
On top of that, daily I take some more loan from her in the form of food
But daily I thank her
She allows me to walk on her chest
And do whatever best I could
She took my weight and side effects of my living here
She tolerates my ignorance every day
So one day I will say a final thank you
for this body to the Mother earth.
Mentally I am settled, I am happy
So settle that I do not have anything to lose, so no fear.
So settle that I can work as hard as a donkey
without bothering day and night.
So settle that if I have to leave this body right away on this hilltop
I am not afraid, I know I will come back
and restart again around the same.
Lapse of few ten-twenty years here and there will happen
But in eternity that does not matter.
In this life,
No desire to build an empire
No desire to give big donations & building big temples
No desire to live a lavish life
But a strong desire to work hard with this body and mind
To learn, understand and experience life in the best possible way
Thus I keep moving
Now tell me in this continuous migration
how to get settled & where?
It looks, I am settled for a constant
whose name is “the change”.
As my friend was puzzled many years ago
I am puzzled today. Why?
Because I thought settlement means
Having a big apartment in the best society in the city.
Having children and Giving them the best education.
Helping them getting settled in their job & life.
Buy the costliest car and show it to my friends.
Take all of them on a long ride and enjoy yourself with them.
Before getting old and dying,
see all the place on this planet,
as if this the first and last time here.
Because they are saying “Jindagi Na Milegi Dobara”
And if possible go and see the moon also.
Eat everything and drink everything possible,
because that is why God has created
all these things for we human
Apart from that human is also creating
so many interesting technologies to enjoy
It is not for me then for whom?
But for all that I need to make lots of money
That is why I working so hard.
And this crazy man is saying
I am finally settled in this constant changing world
I don’t see that he got settled
Still roaming, nothing fixed.
Finally, my friend told me
Hari, this whole cosmos is mine
Based on the need, I can live wherever I want
When this whole cosmos has been built for me
And I can live wherever I want,
The only thing is I need to take care of is my Karma,
Then where is a question of creating a house
inside the house to get Final Settlement?
O merciful Reader, if you are settled in life
Can you tell me whether my friend Pratibimba is foolish or wise?
Because I asked him a question and
now I myself am trapped in that question.
Hari Om Tat Sat
Your Truly Hari